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Three Main Concepts in Kabbalah

1) Rabbi Hanania ben Akashia said, “The Creator wished to reward Israel, so He gave them the Torah and the Commandments...” In Hebrew “to award” (“Lizkot”) is similar to the word “to purify” (“Lezakot”). Midrash “Bereshit Rabbah” says, “The Commandments are given only to purify Israelwith their help”. Here two questions arise:

These matters have been discussed in my books “Panim Meirot uMasbirot” and “The Study of the Ten Sefirot”. Let us review them briefly.

The Creator’s intention was to give pleasure to created beings. For this, He prepared an enormous desire in the souls to receive this pleasure contained in the Shefa (the abundance which the Creator wants to bestow upon us). The "desire to receive" is a vessel for the reception of the delight contained in the Shefa.

The greater the "desire to receive", the more pleasure enters the vessel. These two notions interconnect in such a way that it is impossible to separate them.

It is only possible to point out that the pleasure refers to the shefa (i.e., to the Creator) while the "desire to receive" refers to the Creation.

Both of these notions come directly from the Creator and are included in the Thought of Creation. While the abundance descends directly from the Creator, the "desire to receive" it, also included in the shefa, is the root, the source of created beings.

The "desire to receive" is something essentially new, something that never existed before, because there is no trace of "desire to receive" in the Creator. It turns out that the "desire to receive" is the essence of the creation, from beginning to end, the only “material” the creation is made of. All of the various created beings are merely different “portions” of the "desire to receive". Moreover, all events that happen to them are the changes that happen to this "desire to receive".

Everything that fills the created beings and satisfies their "desire to receive" comes directly from the Creator. Therefore, everything that exists around us actually comes out of the Creator, either directly as abundance, or indirectly as, for example, the "desire to receive", that does not exist in the Creator Himself, but was created by Him for delighting His creatures.

Since the Creator’s desire was to bestow upon the created beings, He had to create someone capable of receiving his abundance Consequently, He integrated into the Creation the desire to receive pleasure. Why? There is a rule: the Creator created everything that exists in our nature. The question “Why did we receive such nature?” refers to the state of being prior to the beginning of the Creation and is beyond our grasp. We are able only to attain that which refers to the Creation, but not before or after it. Therefore, our nature allows us to receive only the pleasure that is in equilibrium with our desire for it.

For example, if a man is hungry he enjoys the meal; whereas, if he is offered food while not being hungry, he derives no pleasure. Everything is a combination of a deficiency and the filling of it. The stronger the desire, the greater is the pleasure from filling it.

2) Therefore, the "desire to receive" in all its variety was included in the Thought of Creation from the very beginning. It was inseparably linked to the delight that the Creator prepared for us. The "desire to receive" is a vessel, while the shefa is the light that fills the vessel. These lights and vessels are the only components of the spiritual worlds. They are inseparably connected to one another. Together they descend from above, level by level.

The farther away from the Creator these levels are, the greater and coarser the "desire to receive" becomes. On the other hand, the greater and coarser the "desire to receive" becomes, the more remote it is from the Creator. This happens until it comes to the lowest point where the "desire to receive" reaches its maximum size. This condition is desirable and necessary for the beginning of the ascension toward the correction.

This place is called “the world of Assiya”. In this world the "desire to receive" is defined as “man’s body”, while the light is called “man’s life”. The difference between the upper worlds and this world (Olam Hazeh) is that in the Upper worlds the "desire to receive" is not yet coarse enough, and is not yet separated completely from the light. In our world, the "desire to receive" reaches its final development and receives completely separated from the light.

3) The above-mentioned descending order of the development of the "desire to receive" is divided into four levels (Behinot). This order is encoded in the mystery of the Creator’s Name. The Universe submits to the order of these four letters, HaVaYaH (Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey). These letters correspond to the ten Sefirot: Hochma, Bina, Tifferet (or Zeir Anpin), Malchut and their root. Why are there ten? It is because the Sefira Tifferet includes 6 Sefirot: Hesed, Gvurah, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod and Yesod.

The root of all these Sefirot is called Keter, but often it is not included in the Sefirot count; hence, one says HuB-TuM. These four Behinot correspond to the four worlds: Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya. The world of Assiya also includes this world (“Olam Hazeh”). There is no single created being in this world whose root is not in the world of Infinity, in the plan of the creation. The plan of the creation is the Creator’s desire to please all the created beings.

It includes both the light and the vessel. The light comes directly from the Creator, while the desire to receive pleasure was created by the Creator anew out of nothing. For the "desire to receive" to reach its final development, it must pass together with the light through the four worlds of Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya (ABYA). Then the development of the creation is completed with the creation in it of the light and the vessel, called “the body” and “the light of Life”.

The connection between the Creator and the creation is called “the world of Infinity” (the Ein Sof). Lower spiritual objects as they comprehend it give the names of the Upper Light. Since the Creator’s desire was to bestow pleasure upon the created beings, He created someone who would be able to receive this pleasure from Him, and the creation of the desire to receive pleasure called “Malchut” or “the world of Infinity” was sufficient for that.

Since in this state Malchut, receives for its own sake, making no restriction on reception, Malchut later performs a restriction on the reception of the light-pleasure.

It is said that the "desire to receive" was finalized in the world of Assiya. So does it mean that the biggest "desire to receive" exists in this world of Assiya? Yet, while the world of Assiya is only Behinat Shoresh and has the weakest light, there is the light of Keter is in the world of AK. The notion the world of Assiya has two meanings:


The entire Behina Dalet is called the world of Assiya.


The world of Assiya by itself.

To understand the meaning of the first notion one needs to know that the finished vessel is called “Behina Dalet”; but, in fact the true vessel (the Kli) is already present in Behina Alef. Keter is "the "desire to bestow" pleasure upon the creation"; Hochma is “the "desire to receive" this pleasure” and is completely filled with the light. Nevertheless, the Kli should pass four more levels to its final development.

We study everything from the point of view of our nature because all laws come out of the spiritual roots. In our world, the value of man’s pleasure depends on the force of his striving for it. Unbearable passion brings great pleasure, while a tiny desire leads to small pleasure. For man to grasp a true desire, two conditions are necessary:


Man cannot strive for something that he has never heard of before. He has to know what he wants, i.e., once he has already had it.


But he cannot be striving for something he already has. Therefore four levels of development of the Kli are necessary for it to receive the final form.

Malchut had the entire light in the world of Infinity. However, the vessel is characterized by the difference of its properties from those of the Creator, which did not exist in the world of Infinity. With the following development of the vessel, we realize that the true vessel is the lack the light.

In the world of Assiya, the Kli does not receive anything at all, because it wants only to receive; hence, it is defined as a genuine vessel. It is so far from the Creator that it knows nothing about its root. As a result, man has to believe that he is created by the Creator, although he is unable to feel it.

Conclusion: the vessel is not someone or something that has a lot; on the contrary, it is someone or something extremely remote. It is totally disconnected from the light. While receiving only for its own sake, the vessel has no "desire to give"; all it can do is to believe that such desire exists... Man just cannot understand why he has to strive for giving.

What is the point of existence for such a vessel as on that has no spark of the light and is extremely remote from the Creator? Such vessels have to begin working for the sake of bestowal with objects that are, so far, unreal.

The Baal HaSulam gives the following example. In the past, everything was very expensive, so children were taught to write first on the blackboard with a piece of chalk. Then they could erase what they had mistakenly written, and only those who had learned to write correctly were given real paper.

The same is true with us. First, we are given playthings, and then, if we learn to add the intention for the Creator’s sake to our desire, we will be able to see the true light. The Kli is created in such a way as to get used to the real work.

Before the souls appear all actions are performed by the Creator. By this He shows the souls how they should act. For example, how does one learn to play chess? The moves are made for the pupil and in this way, he learns. That is why the worlds descend from above. The Creator carries out all the actions relating both to the higher levels and to the lower ones. Then at the second stage, the souls begin to ascend by themselves.

Meanwhile, we strive for playthings and not for spirituality; hence, the light of the Torah is concealed from us. Man would not be able to receive the enormous delights offered to him for the Creator’s sake.

The Baal HaSulam gives us an example. A man puts all of his valuables on the table – gold, silver, diamonds. Suddenly, strangers come to his house. He fears they may steal his treasures. What can he do? He switches off the light so that no one can see that there are precious things in the house.

We do not lack the desire for spirituality because the "desire to receive" is absent in us; rather, because we cannot see anything. We cannot see the wood for the trees. The more man “purifies himself”, the better he begins to see. Then his Kli (the "desire to receive") gradually grows, for he wants to feel greater pleasures.

For example, if one manages to receive 0.5 kg of pleasure for the sake of bestowal, he is given 1 kg. Then, if that amount was also received with the intention for the Creator’ sake, he is given 2 kg of pleasure, and so on.

The sages about it: "He who has reached higher levels of Torah has bigger desires." Yet we cannot see anything until our desires acquire the intention to receive for the sake of bestowal. In this sence, the only distinction between a secular and religious person is that the former aspires to receive only the pleasures of this world, while the latter also desires the delight of the world to come.

The power of the desire to receive over all created beings is so great that the sages said about it, "The law ruling over people is this: Mine is mine, and yours is yours; and only fear stops man from saying, 'Yours is mine'."

4) The necessity to develop the "desire to receive" on four levels (Behinot) through the four worlds of ABYA is caused by the existing rule, according to which only the spreading of the light followed by its subsequent expulsion make the vessel fit for use.

An explanation: when the vessel is filled with the light, they are inseparably connected. The vessel is in fact non-existent; it abolishes itself as the flame of a candle disappears in the flame of a torch.

The desire is satisfied, so it ceases to exist. It can reappear only after the light exits from it, stops filling it. The reason for this self-annihilation of the vessel lies in its total contrast with the light. The light comes directly from the Creator’s essence, from the Thought of Creation. This light is a "desire to bestow" and has nothing to do with a "desire to receive". The vessel is absolutely opposite to it; it is a huge "desire to receive" the light.

The vessel is a root, a source of something very new, non-existent before the creation. The vessel has no "desire to give". Since the light and the vessel are inseparably connected, the "desire to receive" is annulled by the light. The vessel acquires a certain form only after the expulsion of the light from it. Only then, the vessel starts craving for the light. This passionate desire determines the necessary form of 'his "desire to receive". When the light reenters the vessel, they become two separate objects – the vessel and the light, or body and life. Take a good note of it, because these are most profound notions.

When the Kli begins to receive, it must feel: “Now I receive pleasure”. But the light carrying that pleasure does not let this ”I” open and be felt by the Kli. Hence, the “I” annuls itself. It means that the Kli does not feel that it receives, although it does so.

Rabbi Baruch Ashlag gives this example. An old man won $100.000 in a lottery. His friends were afraid to tell him the news, thinking he might have a heart attack and die of over-excitement.

One of them said he could pass the information without causing any harm. He came to the old man and asked him, “Would you share $10 with me if you won in the lottery?” - “Of course I would!”, answered the old man. “And if you won $100, would you still be willing to share the prize with me?” “Why not?” answered the old man. It went on and on until the sum reached $100.000, then the guest asked, “Are you ready to sign our agreement?” – “I certainly am!” – exclaimed the old man. At that very moment the guest collapsed on the floor and died.

We see that man can die of great joy, since too powerful a light annuls the "desire to receive". In such a case, the Kli disappears and the light is bound to exit to encourage the Kli to strive after it.

Why then does the light not annul the Kli, the Behina Dalet, upon returning to it? When the Ohr and Kli are together in the Behina Alef, both the "desire to bestow" and the "desire to receive" must spread there. However, since they are opposite to one another, the "desire to bestow" annuls the "desire to receive", i.e., prevents it from spreading.

After the Behina Dalet was formed, the light cannot annul it, since they represent two existing forces. In the Behina Alef the light does not let the "desire to receive" spread and grow; but once it has developed, it cannot interfere with it.

For example, two men are fighting. One of them prevents the other from entering his house. Does it matter if they are fighting outside or the intruder is already inside? If we say that, nothing exists but the Creator, who wishes to bestow pleasure and the creation, who strives after this pleasure, it is sufficient to have Keter as a giver and Hochma as a receiver!

In the phase of Hochma the "desire to receive" is one with the light, the latter preventing it from feeling as it receives. This state is not perfect though, since the Kli must feel that it receives. For instance, man gives something to his friend, but he cannot feel it. In this case the giver violates the commandment, “do not destroy”.

Hence, it is clear why we are not given important (precious) things. Since we are quite content with scanty pleasures, we are not worthy to be given valuable things. Therefore, the development of 4 phases is necessary for the birth of the Kli, which feels as it receives.

5) As stated above, the creation develops according to four phases, Behinot, encoded in the name HaVaYaH and called Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut. Behina Alef (1) is called “Hochma”, which contains both the light and the vessel made of the "desire to receive". This vessel contains the entire light called Ohr Hochma (the light of wisdom) Ohr Haya (the light of life), because it is the entire light of life inside the creation.

Nevertheless, Behina Alef is still regarded as the light and the vessel in it has not manifested yet, existing potentially. It is still inseparably connected with the light in the state of self-abolishment. Afterwards, Behina Bet (2) comes into being, because by the end of its development Hochma wished to acquire the equivalence of properties with the light that is inside it. The "desire to bestow" upon the Creator has awakened in it.

The nature of the light is a pure "desire to give". As an answer to the awakening of that desire, the Creator sent a new and different light called “Ohr Hassadim” (the light of mercy). Hence, Behina Alef almost completely got rid of Ohr Hochma, given by the Creator. Ohr Hochma may only be present in the proper vessel, i.e., the "desire to receive". Both the light and the vessel in Behina Bet are totally different from those in Behina Alef, since the vessel in Behina Bet is the "desire to bestow" and the light is Ohr Hassadim. Ohr Hassadim is the pleasure of being like the Creator.

The "desire to bestow" leads to the equivalence of properties with the Creator that, in the spiritual worlds, leads to merging with him. Then Behina Gimel emerges. After the light inside the creation passes to the level of Ohr Hassadim in the almost complete absence of Ohr Hochma (as we know Ohr Hochmais the principal life force in the creation), Behina Bet felt its deficiency. At the end of its development, it attracted a portion of the Ohr Hochma so that it could start shining inside its Ohr Hassadim.

To this end, it reawakened a portion of its inner desire to receive and formed a new vessel called Behina Gimel, or Tifferet. The light inside it is Ohr Hassadim with the luminescence of Ohr Hochma because the main part of this light is Ohr Hassadim, Ohr Hochma being less significant. Behina Dalet follows it because the vessel of Behina Gimel also wished to attract Ohr Hochma at the end of its development, but this time it wanted all of it, as it had been in Behina Alef.

It turns out that this awakened desire leads to a situation where Behina Dalet feels the passionate desire that Behina Alef had. Moreover, now, after expelling the light once, the creation knows how bad it feels, so it desires this light much more than at the earlier stage of Behina Alef.

Therefore, the emanation of the light and its subsequent expulsion create a vessel. If the vessel now receives the light again, it will precede the light. Therefore, the Behina Dalet is a final phase in the creation of the vessel called Malchut.

Why did the light itself become a reason for the Kli’s wish to give? We observe a law in our nature: each branch longs to be like its root. That is why, as soon as the light of Hochma came, the Kli received it. However, when it felt that the light had come from the Giver, it wished to be like the Source and not to receive. It means that two actions come out of Keter:


the desire to bestow pleasure upon the creation, which created the "desire to receive", and it is Behina Alef.


the desire to bestow acts in the creation, because the latter feels that the light it receives comes from the desire of the superior giver, and thus also wants to give.

We can see an example of this in the material world. One person gives another a present, and the latter receives it. Then he begins to think and understands: “He is a giver and I am a receiver! I should not take it!” That is why he returns the gift. At the beginning when he received the present, he was under the giver’s influence and did not feel he was a receiver. However, after the reception he began to feel that he is a receiver, which made him decline the present.

It is necessary to point out that this person has a "desire to receive", because he did receive the present at the beginning. But he did not ask for it! Hence, it is not called a Kli. The Kli is a state in which one feels that there is pleasure, begs, and pleads to the giver to give it to him.

Why is Bina’s Aviut bigger than that of Hochma, i.e., why does it have a bigger "desire to receive", but wishes only to give? Hochma is the vessel that does not yet feel that it receives; the giver controls it completely. Nevertheless, Bina already feels itself as a receiver; therefore, its Aviut is bigger.

There are two kinds of light:


The light of the Purpose of the creation called “Ohr Hochma” comes from the Creator (the "desire to bestow" upon the creation); it is Behina Alef.


The light of the Correction of the creation called Ohr Hassadim”, which spreads thanks to the creation; it is termed Behina Bet.

How can one say that Ohr Hassadim spreads thanks to the creation? Is not the Creator the source of the light and pleasure? It is because the Creator’s pleasure comes to the creation owing to its merging with the Source of pleasure.

The beginning of the Creation happens as follows:

The light comes out of the Creator, the Ohr - pleasure. This emanation of the light from the Creator is called the zero phase (0), or the root (Shoresh).

The light creates the Kli, which is able to feel, absorb all pleasure contained in the light. Let us assume that the Creator wanted to give the creation 1 kg of pleasure. In that case, He should have created the "desire to receive" that pleasure (Kli) with the capacity of 1 kg, which could absorb the entire delight.

Such a state of the Kli's being completely filled with the Creator’s light is called phase Alef (1). This phase is characterized by the desire to receive pleasure. The light, carrying the pleasure is called “Ohr Hochma”. The Kli in this phase receives the Ohr Hochma; hence, the phase itself is called “Hochma”.

The Kli receives the Creator’s light, feels absolute pleasure and acquires its property - the "desire to give", to please. As a result, instead of receiving, the Kli now desires to give, and stops receiving the light. Since a new desire, contrary to the initial one appears in the Kli, it passes to a new state, which is called phase Bet (2), the "desire to give", or Bina.

The Kli has stopped receiving the light. The light continues to interact with the Kli and says to it, that by refusing to receive the light, it neither fulfils the Purpose of the creation, nor the Creator’s desire. The Kli analyses this information and comes to a conclusion that it really does not fulfill the Creator’s desire.

What is more, the Kli feels the light is a vital force, and that it cannot do without it. Hence, the Kli, still willing to give, decides to start receiving an essential portion of the light. It turns out that the Kli agrees to receive the light for two reasons: first, because it wants to fulfill the Creator’s desire, this reason being the main one; and secondly, it feels that it really cannot exist without the light.

The appearance of a new, though, a tiny "desire to receive" the light in the Kli, creates a new phase that is called Behina Gimel (3), or Zeir Anpin.

While simultaneously giving and receiving a little in phase Gimel, the Kli begins to realize that the Creator’s desire is to fill completely the Kli with the light so it might be able to enjoy it infinitely. Since the Kli has already acquired a little bit of the light of Hochma necessary for its existence, it now decides to receive the rest of the light. This is the Creator’s desire, and the Kli resumes receiving the Creator’s light the way it did in phase 1.

The new phase is called Behina Dalet (4). It differs from phase 1, in that it independently expressed its "desire to receive".

The first phase was unconsciously filled with the light by the Creator’s desire. It had no desire of its own. The 4th phase is called “the kingdom of desires”, or Malchut. This state, Malchut, is called “the world of Infinity" (the Olam Ein Sof) - infinite, unlimited desire to receive pleasure, to be filled with the light.

Behinat Shoresh (0) is the Creator’s desire to create the creation and give it maximum pleasure. In this phase, as in a seed, or embryo, all subsequent creation is included from its beginning to the end, encompassing the Creator’s attitude to the future creation.

Behinat Shoresh (0) is the Thought of the entire creation. All subsequent processes are only the realization of this Thought. Each subsequent phase is the logical consequence of the previous one. The development goes on from above and each preceding phase is “higher” than the following one, i.e., the preceding phase includes all the subsequent ones.

In the course of this development from the Creator down to our world, new levels come into being; everything evolving from perfect to imperfect. The Creator created the light, the pleasure, out of Himself, out of his Essence. Hence, it is said that the light is created “Yesh mi Yesh” (existent out of existent), i.e., that the light has existed forever. However, with the appearance of phase 1 of the desire to receive pleasure, the vessel, the Kli, is called “Yesh mi Ayn” (existent out of non-existent), i.e., the Creator made it out of nothing; because there cannot be even the slightest "desire to receive" in the Creator.

The creation’s first independent desire occurs in phase two. In this phase, the 'desire to bestow' appears for the first time. This desire appeared under the influence of the light, which was received from the Creator, and had already been included in the Thought of Creation. However, the Kli feels it as its own, independent desire. The same is true of our desires: all of them are sent from above, from the Creator; but we consider them to be our own.

By feeling the "desire to give" in phase two, contrary to the "desire to receive", the Kli ceases to feel pleasure from receiving, stops sensing the light as pleasure. The light filters out and leaves it remaining empty.

In phase one, the desire to receive pleasure was created. It is the only desire that is absent in the Creator. This very desire is the creation. Subsequently, there are only variations of this desire of phase 1 in the entire Universe; the desire to receive pleasure either from receiving or from giving, or from the combination of these two desires. Apart from the Creator there is only one thing – the desire to receive pleasure.

The vessel (the Kli) always wants to receive. The material it is made of does not change. Man can understand it only when he realizes the evil and comprehends his egoistic nature. All that is incorporated into our nature; in every cell of our body, there is no more than the desire to receive pleasure.

Phase two, now empty, stops feeling that it exists; it is created by the light and being without it, feels like dying. Hence, it desires to receive at least a little bit of the Creator’s light. The pleasure from receiving the light is called “Ohr Hochma”, while the pleasure from giving is called “Ohr Hassadim”.

Phase two (Bina) wants to give, but it finds out it has nothing to give, that it “is dying” without Ohr Hochma. That is why it decides to receive a little bit of the Ohr Hochma.

This is what constitutes the third phase, Behina Gimel (3). In this phase, there are two different desires in the vessel: the "desire to receive" and the "desire to bestow". But the "desire to give" prevails. In spite of the fact that it has nothing to bestow upon the Creator, the "desire to give" still exists in it. This desire is filled with the light of hassadim. It has in it also a little bit of the light of Hochma, which fills the "desire to receive".

The fourth phase, Malchut, is being gradually born from the third one. The "desire to receive" grows stronger, pushing out the "desire to give", and after awhile the "desire to receive" remains as the sole one. Therefore, this phase is called “Malchut”, i.e., the kingdom of desire, the desire to absorb everything, the entire pleasure (Ohr Hochma).

This phase is a completion of the creation, and since it receives everything infinitely, endlessly, it is called “the world of Infinity”.

These are the four phases of the Direct Light coming from the Creator. The rest of the creation, all the worlds, angels, Sefirot, souls - everything is only a part of Malchut. Since Malchut desires to be like the phases preceding it, the entire creation is a reflection of these 4 phases.

To understand it, to explain how these four phases are reflected in each of the worlds, how this affects our world; how we, by working actively with the help of feedback from above, can affect them and join in the general process of the Universe; this is the purpose of the science called Kabbalah. Our goal is to comprehend it all.

6) The four above-mentioned phases correspond to the ten Sefirot of which every created being consists. These four phases correspond to the four worlds of ABYA, which include the entire Universe, and all the details existing in reality. Behina Alef is called Hochma, or the world of Atzilut. Behina Bet is called Bina, or the world of Beria. Behina Gimel is called Tifferet, or the world of Yetzira. Behina Dalet is called Malchut, or the world of Assiya.

Now let us understand the nature of these four Behinot existing in every soul. Each soul (Neshama) originates in the world of Infinity and descends to the world of Atzilut, acquiringthe properties of Behina Alef there. In the world of Atzilut, it is not yet called “Neshama”, for this name points to a certain degree of separation from the Creator that leads to a fall from the level of Infinity, from a state of complete unity with the Creator, andacquires some “independence”. However, it is not yet a completely formed vessel, so nothing separates it from the Creator’s Essence thus far.

As we already know, while in Behina Alef, the vessel is not yet such, for at this stage it annuls itself as regards the light. Hence, in the world of Atzilut, everything is said to be still absolutely Divine – “He is one and His Name is one”. Even the souls of other creatures passing through this world merge with the Creator.

7) Behina Bet rules in the world of Beria; i.e., its vessel is the "desire to bestow". Consequently, when the soul arrives in the world of Beria, it reaches this stage of the vessel’s development, is already called “Neshama”. This means it separated from the Creator’s Essence and acquired a certain degree of independence. Nevertheless, this vessel is still very “pure”, “transparent”, i.e., very close in its properties to the Creator. Thus, it is regarded as being completely spiritual.

8) Behina Gimel rules in the world of Yetzira; it contains a certain amount of the "desire to receive". Therefore, when the soul comes to the world of Yetzira, reaches this stage of the vessel’s development, there exits the state of “Neshama”, and is now called “Ruach”. This vessel already possesses certain Aviut, i.e., some portion of the "desire to receive". It is nevertheless still considered as spiritual, since this quantity and quality of the "desire to receive" is insufficient to be completely separated in its properties from the Creator’s Essence. A complete separation from the Creator’s Essence is a body, which is now fully and clearly “independent”.

9) Behina Dalet rules in the world of Assiya; it is the final stage of the vessel’s development. At this level, the "desire to receive" reaches the peak of its evolution. The vessel turns into a body totally separated from the Creator’s Essence. The light inside Behina Dalet is called “Nefesh”. This name points to the lack of independent movement in this type of the light. In addition, remember that nothing exists in the Universe that does not consist of its own ABYA (four Behinot).

What is the difference between the "desire to receive" and the soul? The "desire to receive" is called Behina Dalet. It is the heart of everything; it feels and attains all levels. As a rule, “the light” is named "soul". The light without the one who comprehends it is called “light”. The light together with the one who attains it is called “the soul”.

For example, five people are watching an airplane through binoculars, and each one has better binoculars than another does. Now, the first one says that the size of the plane is 20 cm. The second claims it to be 1 m. Each of them speaks the truth because they base their speculations on what they see, but their opinions in no way affect the plane.

The reason for the difference of opinions consists in the difference of quality of the binoculars’ lenses. The same occurs with us; there is no change in the light, all the changes are in those who attain it, and whatever we grasp is called “the soul”. In our example the binoculars are the equivalence of properties, and in this sense there are differences between those who attain, and all the more so in that which is attained, the soul.

10) The Nefesh, the light of life installed in the body, comes directly from the Creator’s Essence. Passing through the four worlds of ABYA, it gradually moves away from the Creator until it acquires a vessel, a body assigned to it. Only then is the vessel considered as completely formed. At this stage of the vessel’s development, the light inside it is so small that its source cannot be felt, i.e., the creation (the vessel) stops felling the Creator.

However, with the help of the Torah and the Commandments with the intention to bestow delight upon the Creator, the creation can purify its vessel called the body, and receive all the light prepared for it by the Creator in the Thought of Creation. That is what Rabbi Hanania ben Akashia meant by saying, “The Creator wished to reward Israel, so He gave them the Torah and the Commandments...”

Here he explains the notion “Aviut”, which we have to “Lezakot”, purify. Behina Dalet is called Aviut, because it receives for the sake of self-enjoyment. The purpose is to achieve the equivalence of the properties, i.e., to receive for the sake of bestowal. That is what is defined as “Zakut” - purification. One can reach such a level by learning the Torah with the intention to acquire the "desire to give".

There cannot be two contrary desires simultaneously in the Kli; it is either the "desire to receive" or the "desire to give". If there are two desires in one Kli, it is divided into two parts, into two Kelim, proportionately.

“Time” in the spiritual world is the cause-and-effect connection between spiritual objects, the birth of the lower out of the higher. There are causes and effects in the spiritual worlds, but there are no time gaps between the two. In our world, as a rule, some time passes between a cause and an effect.

If we say “before”, we mean the cause; but if we say “after”, we mean the effect. We will gradually get used to such notions as “the absence of time and space”. Rambam wrote that all our matter, the entire Universe, is below the speed of light. If anything exceeds the speed of light, time stops, and space contracts into a point. This is also known from Einstein’s theory of relativity.

What is beyond it? Beyond it is the level of the spiritual world where space and time do not exist, i.e., they are taken by a person comprehending them as equal to zero. Spiritual space can be compared to our inner spiritual world where one feels either satisfied or drained.

There are only the Creator and the creation in the world. The creation is the "desire to receive" the light, pleasure from the Creator. In our world, this desire is unconscious; we cannot feel the source of life, of pleasure. In our world, the desire to receive pleasure is egoistic. If man can correct it and start using it altruistically, he begins to feel the light, the Creator, the spiritual world in the same Kli. The spiritual world and the Creator are the same.

Man’s corrected desire is called “the soul”. A soul is divided into different parts, private souls. Then they become diminished and move away from the Creator according to their properties and enter into man born in this world. A soul can enter a grown-up person at any time of his life. It happens according to a program given from above.

The souls supersede one another in one and the same person during his life. In fact, it is similar to the clothes that a man changes all the time. The same is true with the soul; it changes its material dress, its physiological body, leaving it, and being replaced by another soul. The body dies, but the soul changes its dress for another one.

Man’s purpose is, while still living in this world, being in this body, in spite of all its egoistic desires, to strive to reach the spiritual level from which his soul descended. By achieving this goal, man reaches a spiritual level, which is 620 times higher than the present one. It corresponds to the 613 principal and seven additional commandments.

All the souls have the same task - to achieve their complete correction. That means to rise 620 times higher. Man can rise to that level with the help of the bodily encumbrances. That is the meaning of being in our world, in our body. The only difference between the souls is in their initial and final conditions, depending on the soul’s character and on which part of the common soul it comes from. When all the souls combine into one, a completely new state of quantity and quality of the common desire and the volume of information emerges.

There are certain types of souls that have already completed their own correction and have descended to our world to correct others. Such is the soul of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochay, which later incarnated into the Ari, and then finally into the Baal HaSulam. Sometimes such a soul descends to influence the world as a whole, sometimes to bring up future Kabbalists.

After the final correction, there will be no difference between souls. The distinction between them exists only in their way to the Goal. It is said, that the people of Israel went into exile to disseminate the knowledge about spirituality and thus drew other peoples to the way of correction, those who were worthy of correction and elevation.

Note well, the material action similar to the spiritual one takes place in our world, in our bodies.

The connection between the spiritual and the material worlds is unilateral; it comes from above, from the spiritual to the material. Man is pushed ahead by the feeling of shame. Upon feeling shame, Malchut of the world of Infinity contracted and stopped receiving pleasure. The shame was so unbearable, that it was greater than the pleasure.

What is shame? It is absolutely different from the feeling we know. Spiritual shame arises exclusively when man feels the Creator. It is the feeling of spiritual variance between the Creator and man. Although receiving everything from the Creator, man cannot give him the same in return. Shame is characteristic only of the higher souls that have already entered the spiritual world and ascended to the levels where the Creator can be felt.

The sensations cannot be conveyed. If man knows this or that feeling, it can be aroused in him from outside, but not be made afresh. Spiritual sensations are particularly indescribable because only the one who attains them feels them. Both in our world and in the spiritual one, the man who feels something can neither convey nor prove his sensations to anyone else. It is an intensely personal experience.

We feel only that which enters us. We do not know what is outside of us, what does not pass through our senses. Science constantly discovers something new, but we do not know what has not been uncovered yet, and there is no way we can know it in advance. It is still beyond us, around us; it has not yet entered our mind and sensations.

By its “discoveries”, science only ascertains the existence of certain facts in nature. The undiscovered realm continues to exist around us and outside of our sensations. Kabbalah is also a science; however, it researches not our world, but the spiritual one, providing man with an additional sense. By entering the spiritual world, we can better understand ours. All events that take place in the spiritual world descend to us, while all the effects of our world ascend to the spiritual world according to the law of constant circulation and interaction of all information.

Our world is the last, lowest level of all the existing worlds. Hence, the Kabbalist, who enters the spiritual world, can see the descending and ascending souls, the causes and effects of all spiritual and material processes.

Is the science of Kabbalah verifiable? Looking at our world from above, one can see that all the teachings and religions end where man’s inner world, his inner psychology comes to the limit. As long as it is impossible to demonstrate anything spiritual on the level of our world, it will be impossible to prove anything. Only the one who ascends will see it. Hence, Kabbalah is called a secret science. If man is born blind in our world, it is impossible to explain to him the meaning of “seeing”.

In Kabbalah, there is a method of strictly scientific, reasonable, critical self-attainment. When an additional sense emerges, man begins to talk with the Creator, to feel Him. The Creator begins to open his own inner world - the only thing man can feel and understand. As any other created being, man can feel only what descends to him from the Creator.

Perhaps the Creator has something else He does not speak about? Of course, He does. We also receive more and more new information, new sensations, which He has not introduced into us before. However, one cannot pass judgment about something he has not yet received from the Creator.

Man attains everything in Kabbalah by going through the 6000 levels, or so-called “six thousand years”. Having completed his spiritual ascent, consisting of 6000 levels, man rises to the higher level of attainment - the 7th millennium or “Shabbat”.

Then three more ascents come– the 8th, 9th and 10th millennia, where man attains the highest Sefirot: Bina, Hochma and Keter. These levels are above the creation. They completely belong to the Creator who gives the corrected souls such attainments, such merging with Him.

Nothing is written about this anywhere; there is no language capable of describing it. It refers to the Torah secrets. Hence, when one asks about the Creator Himself, we cannot answer anything. We speak only about the light that emanates from Him. We attain the light and thus attain the Creator. Whatever we attain, we call “The Creator”, something that created us. It turns out that we actually attain ourselves, our inner world, and not Him.

Being completely filled with the light, Malchut felt that, although it had pleased the Creator by receiving His light, it was totally opposite to Him in its properties. It only wants to receive pleasure, while the Creator’s only desire is to give pleasure.

At this stage of development, Malchut, for the first time, felt a burning shame because it had seen the Giver and His properties, and all the vast difference between Him and itself.

As a result of this sensation, Malchut decides to completely free itself from the light, as in phase 2 (Bina), with the only difference being that here the creation passionately desires to receive pleasure and feels how much this desire is contrary to the Creator’s.

The expulsion of the light out of Malchut is called “Tzimtzum Alef(TA). Because of TA, Malchut remains completely empty. The Creator acted up to phase four. Beginning with the feeling of shame, the creation starts acting as if “independently”, the feeling of shame being its driving force.

After the restriction, Malchut does not want to receive any more light. It feels its contrast to the Creator Who gives it this pleasure. Being filled with the light, and thus fulfilling the Creator’s desire, Malchut now has finally become contrary to the Creator. What should it do so as not to feel shame and be similar to the Creator, i.e., to receive, because He wants it to, and to give the way He does?

Malchut can achieve such a state if it receives not for its own sake, not for satisfying its own desire to receive pleasure, but for the sake of the Creator. This means that it will now receive the light only because, by doing so, it gives pleasure to the Creator. It is similar to the guest who, even though very hungry, refuses to receive the treat for his own sake, but receives to please the host.

For this purpose, Malchut creates a screen - a force resisting the egoistic desire to receive pleasure for its own sake, which pays no attention to the Giver. This force pushes away all the light coming to it. Then, with the help of the same screen, Malchut calculates what amount of the light it can receive for the sake of the Creator.

Malchut opens up only to the portion of the light measured by the screen that it can receive for the Creator’s sake. The remaining part of Malchut, i.e., the rest of its desires, remains empty. If it could fill itself completely with the light and receive for the sake of bestowal, it would have become similar to the Creator by its properties. It would finish the correction of its egoism and begin using it only to give pleasure to the Creator.

Such a state of absolute correction of Malchut is “the purpose of the creation” and is called “The End of the Correction” (of egoistic desire to receive pleasure). But it is impossible to reach such a state in one moment, one action, because it is completely contrary to Malchut’s egoistic nature. Malchut receives its correction in parts, in portions over a period of time.

The light that enters the Kli is called “Ohr Yashar” (the Direct Light). The Kli’s intention to receive the light only for the Creator’s sake is called “Ohr Hozer” (the Reflected Light). With the help of this intention, the Kli reflects the light. The part of the Kli that receives the light is called “Toch” (inner part). The remaining empty part of the Kli is called “Sof” (end). Together, Toch and Sof form the “Guf” (body) - the desire to receive pleasure. One should take into consideration that, when Kabbalistic books speak about “the body”, a "desire to receive" is always meant.

With the exception of our world, the entire spiritual Universe is built on this single principle - to receive for the sake of the Creator. It appears that the Universe is only variations of Malchut emptied in TA, which now fills itself with the help of the screen. The outer, less significant part of this Malchut is called the worlds of Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira and Assiya. However, the remaining inner part of Malchut is called “the soul”, Adam.

The process of filling Malchut with the light is qualitative and quantitative. This is the very process we are going to study. It consists in the fact that each tiny part of Malchut that descended into our world must correct itself by merging with the Creator. And each such particle is inside man. It is his real “self”.

The part of Malchut that does not yet receive the light, but just makes a preliminary analysis, calculating how much light it can receive for the Creator’s sake, is called “the Rosh” (head). As much light as Malchut can receive, so much pleasure can it give to the Creator. Malchut has a complete freedom of will; it can choose either not to receive at all, or to receive as much as it wants. It controls its egoism and chooses just this state to be similar to the Creator. It works with its egoism, i.e., not only it chooses not to receive for its own sake, but receives for the sake of the Creator.

Malchut has to feel pleasure, because this is the Creator’s desire; but the intention must be altruistic. That is why it cannot receive for the Creator’s sake all the light coming from Him. There arises a contradiction between the intention and the pleasure itself. If Malchut does not enjoy, neither would the Creator. All His pleasure is in pleasing Malchut.

The light that entered the Toch of Malchut is called “Ohr Pnimi” (the Inner Light). The place where the screen sits is called the Peh” (mouth). The screen in Hebrew is “Masach”. The boundary where the Kli stops receiving the light is called the Tabur” (navel). The line signifying the end of the Kli is called “the Sium” (completion) or “Etzbaot Raglin” (toes).

The part of the light that Malchut cannot receive, because of a weak, screen remains outside and is called “Ohr Makif” (the Surrounding Light). The light that Malchut receives inside should correspond to its intention to receive this light for the Creator’s sake. This intention, as is known, is called “the Reflected Light”. Therefore, the light from the head enters the body and mixes with the Reflected Light.

The Toch, filled with the light, is absolutely similar to the Creator and is in a state of constant exchange of pleasure with Him. The Creator emanates pleasure, which is felt by the souls according to their measure of “hunger”, the desire to receive it. The problem here is to desire to feel the Creator and to receive pleasure from Him. This is what Kabbalah teaches us.

One can feel the Creator only to the degree of similarity of his own properties. The sense that perceives, that feels the Creator, is called the Masach” (screen). The entrance into the spiritual world starts with a minimal screen emerging in man, when he begins to feel the outer world and understands that it is the Creator.

Then, by studying Kabbalah, man increases the magnitude of his screen and begins to feel the Creator more and more. The screen is the force of resistance to one’s egoism and the measure of one's similarity to the Creator. It allows him to harmonize his intention according to the intention of the Creator. To the extent that man’s desires are equal in their measure of likeness to those of the Creator’s, he begins to feel the Creator.

Nothing exists in the Universe except the Creator’s desire “to bestow” and the creation’s initial desire “to receive”. Every subsequent process is the correction of this desire “to receive” with the help of the desire “to bestow”. Yet, how can man change something that was created by the Creator - the desire “to receive”, if it is his very essence?

The answer is that it occurs only with the help of the intention “to receive for the sake of bestowal”. The creation becomes equal to the Creator in its properties, its spiritual level. Every created being should achieve such a state either during one or several lifetimes. This process takes place throughout every generation. We are the consequence, the product of the previous generations; our souls have been here more than once, and have descended yet again and again. They accumulate the experience of suffering and the readiness to approach nearer to the spiritual...

Man’s nature is one of laziness, and it is a very good feeling. Unless he had it, he would have scattered himself all over the different kinds of pursuits, without giving preference to anything. One should not be afraid of laziness; it protects us from unnecessary activities.

The Creator’s actions become apparent in the first two phases:

The Zero phase, called “the root”, is the light emanating from the Creator.

The First phase, called Hochma” is the "desire to receive" the light, the vessel (the Kli), created by the light itself, that it may receive the pleasure contained in this light. Furthermore, until the end of the entire creation, everything happens only as the Kli’s reaction to the light inside it. Everything occurs only due to the interconnection between these two components - the light and the vessel, the "desire to give" pleasure and the "desire to receive" that pleasure.

The Second phase, called “Bina”, is the first reaction of the Kli to the light that fills it; the Kli borrows the property of “bestowal” from the light and wants to be equal to it. That is why it expels the light.

The Third phase, called “Tifferet”, or “Zeir Anpin”, is the first action performed by the Kli. It understands that the Creator wants it to receive and enjoy the light. Therefore, it begins receiving a little bit of the light. This "desire to receive" is the third phase.

The Fourth phase is called “Malchut”. In the third phase the Kli’s "desire to receive" the entire light of Hochma emanating from the Creator develops, and this desire is then called Malchut.

This fourth phase is the complete desire, the only creation. We can see that the creation has only one desire - to receive and enjoy the light of Hochma. Initially, the only possibility for bestowal is by not receiving for its own sake, but for the sake of the Creator.

However, to become a giver it is necessary to feel the Creator and to receive only for the sake of bestowing pleasure upon Him. You become partners.

He gives to you and you give to Him. You become equal in your properties and aspirations; you suffer if He does not receive pleasure, but He also suffers if you do not enjoy what he has prepared for you. He and you become one whole.

The fourth phase, Malchut, is then subdivided into five parts. This happens, because it cannot correct all of its egoism at once, i.e., it is unable to receive the entire light prepared for it for the Creator’s sake. The "desire to receive" for someone else’s sake is unnatural; hence, the creation should gradually “get used” to this desire.

Malchut wants to be similar to the preceding phases. Hence, it divides itself into five parts:


The root part of Malchut is similar to the root phase of the Direct Light;


The first part of Malchut is similar to the first phase of the Direct Light;


The second part of Malchut is similar to the second phase of the Direct Light;


The third part of Malchut is similar to the third phase of the Direct Light;


The fourth part of Malchut is Malchut itself, which is not similar to any of the previous properties. Therefore, it is absolutely egoistic.

These phases are correspondingly called:

  1. Still

  2. Vegetative

  3. Animal

  4. Human

  5. Spiritual

The souls are created out of the last part of Malchut. The rest of the Universe, the worlds and everything that fills and inhabits them, is created out of the preceding parts of Malchut. The difference between the levels of the creation is in the degree of the desire to receive pleasure: from the least in the still nature to the biggest in man and to the highest in the souls.

Through reincarnations, man feels all kinds of desires. The one who has even an unconscious desire to become closer to the Creator has also the rest of rougher desires. The question becomes, in what proportion are these desires represented in him, and which desire should he choose for his actions?

With the help of the group and the Rabbi (Teacher), one can replace all of his desires with the single one of attaining the Creator. While moving towards that Goal, the rest of the desires grow and interfere with this advancement. There come all kinds of desires, including sex, money, power, fame, knowledge, and the various idols of the material world.

Man is given all kinds of temptations from above; he is lured by the possibility of growing rich, of being promoted to a high post etc. It happens so that man can get to know himself, to realize his aspirations and weaknesses, his insignificance in withstanding tempting pleasures. All of this is only that he may learn what this desire to receive pleasure is that the Creator has fashioned in him.

Kabbalah is a science of self-knowledge, of revealing the Creator in oneself. Man realizes what is most important to him. It matters what man does with his free time, what he thinks about the rest of the time. A Kabbalist should work. Free time can be used in the right way only if it is planned beforehand. If you think about the question “What am I living for?” during your free time, then it will allow you to think correctly the rest of the time.

To ascend spiritually, one should have an objective to correct, i.e., It is necessary to have the "desire to receive", egoism. Only this, the "desire to receive", corrected with the help of the intention to receive for the sake of the Creator, becomes the vessel into which the light intended by the Creator enters. It turns out that the more egoistic man becomes the better. For man’s egoism steadily grows during his approach to the Creator. It is necessary to make a bigger egoist out of man. In this way, he might come to feel that something in him requires correction.

Egoism makes man negatively perceive the positive manifestation of the Creator. Nevertheless, this very negative sense of the Creator brings us to Him. During the spiritual ascent, drawing nearer to the Creator, all negative emotions turn into positive ones.

Man’s inner “self” is the Creator. We feel separated from Him only because our egoism is not yet corrected.

The entire creation consists of five Behinot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet or Zeir Anpin and Malchut, to which correspond 10 Sefirot. Why are there 10? The matter is that Tifferet consists of 6 Sefirot: Hesed, Gvurah, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod. Let us point out that the name “Tifferet” means both one of the 5 Behinot, and one of its private Sefirot.

This private Sefira, one of the 6, determines the character of the common Tifferet. However, it is more usual to use the name Zeir Anpin (ZA) instead of Tifferet. This name (the tetragrammaton) is more accepted, especially in the school of the Ari. These 10 Sefirot include the entire Universe.

These five Behinot, Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, Malchut, are also the five worlds that we otherwise call by the name of the Creator (Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey). This name is usually pronounced as HaVaYaH. It has an infinite multitude of meanings, because it provides the framework, the basis of all the names of all the creations:









Adam Kadmon





The point of the letter Yud (Kutzo shel Yud)





Our world is a part of the world of Assiya. Although our world is formally under its lowest spiritual level, as there is no place for such an egoistic property as the one ruling over our world in the spiritual realm, this is considered to be the final level of the world of Assiya.

The reason for the creation of the worlds consists in the fact that, in order to give pleasure to the creation, the Creator has to create in it several conditions:

The creation must be able to act freely between the two contrary forces: its own egoism and the Creator; it must independently choose its path and set out upon that path.

In order to provide the creation (man) with these conditions, the Creator should:

The Creator gradually creates such conditions for the creation. By creation, we mean man in our world, in the state where he already begins to realize himself in relation to the Universe or starts climbing the spiritual levels. Such a state is desirable for the beginning of man’s spiritual work and is called “this world”.

Why did the Creator, Who is at the highest spiritual level, have to form the creation out of an egoistic property that is contrary to Him? Why did He initially completely fill creation with the light, which then empties itself of the light, and by doing so lower creation to the state of “this world” (Olam Hazeh)?

The matter is that creation is not independent; even though it is filled with the light, for it is completely suppressed by the light. The light dictates its conditions to the creation, and the desire to receive pleasure, the Kli, transfers its properties to it.

For the creation of an independent Kli, absolutely free from the light’s assistance, the light should completely move away from it. There is a simple rule: the spreading of the light inside the Kli, with the subsequent expulsion of it, makes the Kli suitable for its function of independently realizing and choosing the way of filling. Such a genuine, independent Kli can emerge only in our world.

The descent of the light from above through all the worlds to man in this world presents the preparatory phase of formation of the genuine the Kli. At each phase, only the light determines all the forms, stages, and character of the Kli. As soon as the Kli completely expels the light, it becomes absolutely independent and is able to take on different decisions.

Any soul (one more name for the Kli) that descends from a certain spiritual level is considered as part of the Creator and is filled with His light, until it dresses into man’s body-desire and until he starts working with it.

Only after a soul descends to our world and learns Kabbalah does it comprehend its real state Then man, in whom a desire for spiritual advancement emerged, may ask the Creator to fill him with the spiritual light that will elevate him. However, man does not rise spiritually to the level from which his soul descended, but 620 times higher.

How does man advance? If he were given from above an incentive for the attainment of the spiritual, he must not lose it. Man can be pushed several times from above, by providing him with the interest for spirituality. However, if he does not use this desire correctly, he will eventually be left in peace until his next incarnation.

The Kli is forced to rise spiritually by the Surrounding Light, Ohr Makif. It shines from outside, because it cannot enter the egoistic Kli yet. But this light affects man’s desire for spirituality and makes it grow so considerably, that all he wants is the spiritual ascent. Then he receives help from above. To increase the influence of the Surrounding Light and thus to start feeling the spiritual sensations, to break into the spiritual space one can only do this:


under the guidance of a true Kabbalist;


with the help of studying genuine books;


through communication with the members of his group (collective studies, work, meals).

Olam Hazeh (“this world”) is the state where man already feels that the Creator conceals Himself from him. At this time, we do not feel it yet. We are told that the Creator exists, we hear about it, but in any case, we cannot feel it. When man starts feeling that there is something outside of our world, something that hides from him, it is called the double concealment of the Creator.

Egoism is man’s property that automatically makes him derive benefit from everything he does. Only in this does he see the purpose of his actions. Altruism is a property we are totally unable to comprehend; it is when person does something without any benefit to himself. Nature endowed us only with the egoistic properties. Altruism is beyond the limits of our understanding.

Only someone who feels the Creator can acquire this property. Using the language of Kabbalah, when the light enters the Kli, it will pass its altruistic properties to it. Man cannot be corrected all by himself, and he is not required to. Under his Teacher’s guidance, during the group lessons, he has to arouse such spiritual desires that would cause the light enter him.

To obtain that one should work hard on his thoughts and desires to know what is exactly necessary, although he cannot yet desire it. If man performs an action in our world that seems outwardly altruistic, it actually means that he calculated its future reward in advance.

Any movement, even the slightest one, is made only based on a calculation. As a result, it seems to man that he would be better off than he is now. If man did not make such calculations, he would not be able to move, for a certain amount of energy is needed for movement even at the molecular level of nature, and this energy is our egoism, i.e., the desire to receive pleasure. This law then “dresses” into general physical-chemical laws. In our world, man can only receive or give for the sake of receiving.

It is worth noting here that the desires that make all humankind happy are also egoistic, for man, seeing himself as a part of humankind, desires to please this very part of him…

Kabbalah permits the description of both the inner actions performed by man, and those the Creator performs on him, i.e., their interactions. Kabbalah is a physical-mathematical description of the spiritual objects and their actions, expressed in formulas, graphs and tables.

All of them describe a Kabbalist’s inner spiritual actions, and only the one who can reproduce these actions in himself, and thus understand what these formulas mean, can know what stands behind them.

A Kabbalist can pass this information on to his disciple only when the latter reaches at least the first spiritual level. Such information is passed “by word of mouth” (mi Peh le Peh), because the screen is at the level of “Peh” of the spiritual Partzuf. If a student has not yet acquired the screen, he cannot really understand anything; he cannot yet receive anything from his teacher.

When a Kabbalist reads a Kabbalistic book, he should feel each word, each letter internally, just as blind people feel each letter of the alphabet using the Braille system.

We have studied four phases of the formation of the Kli (0 - Shoresh or Keter, 1 - Hochma, 2 - Bina, and 3 - Tifferet). Why are there four and not five? It is because the fifth one is the Kli itself, and not the phase of its formation. Starting from Malchut, there are no more phases; the Kli is completely created, born, formed in its egoistic desire to receive pleasure from the light of Hochma. The Kli is independent not only in its desire, but in the implementation of its desire to act.

However, if the light, the pleasure, fills the Kli, it dictates to the Kli the way it should act, because it suppresses it by filling it with delight. That is why the Kli is truly free in its intention only when it is not filled with the light. Still that is not enough yet; the light should not be felt even from afar; i.e., the Creator should conceal Himself completely from the Kli, Malchut. Only then can Malchut be independent, free in its decisions and actions.

When the Kli can realize its desires independently, when it is completely free from the influence of the light and pleasure, and the light cannot dictate to the Kli its conditions, such a state, is called “our world”, or “this world”. This state can be achieved if the light is removed not only from the inner part of the Kli, but gradually distances it from outside of the Kli. In our world, man feels the Creator neither on the inside nor the outside; i.e., he does not believe in His existence.

The expulsion of the light from the Kli is called the restriction of the desire to receive pleasure, or simply the restriction, Tzimtzum Aleph. Moving the light away from outside of the Kli is attained with the help of a system of darkening screens that are called worlds. There are only five such screens; i.e., there are five worlds. Each of these worlds consists of five parts called “Partzufim” (plural of Partzuf). Each Partzuf includes five parts called “Sefirot” (plural of Sefira). As a result, Malchut is so remote from the light that it does not feel it at all. This is man in our world.

In Kabbalah, we study the properties of the worlds, Partzufim and Sefirot; i.e., the properties of screens that conceal the spiritual world, the Creator from us. The purpose of this study is to know what properties man should acquire so as to neutralize the concealing actions of all these worlds, Partzufim and Sefirot; to rise to the level of this or that spiritual level of Sefira, Partzuf or world.

By acquiring the properties of a certain Partzuf in a certain world, man immediately neutralizes the concealing action of this level and attains it.

At this time, only the higher levels hide from him the Creator, the light. Gradually he should attain all properties of all the levels, starting from the lowest one immediately above our world, and up to highest level, his final correction.

Let us return to Malchut, the 5th phase of the development of the Kli. When Malchut feels that it receives whilst the Creator gives, it perceives the contrast of its state to the Creator's to be so disgusting that it decides to stop receiving pleasure. Since there is no compulsion in the spiritual world, and pleasure cannot be felt, if there is no desire for it, the light disappears, stops being felt in the Kli.

Malchut performs Tzimtzum Aleph (TA). In the previous phases, the Kli had not felt itself receiving, and only in the 5th phase, when it independently decides to receive, the Kli feels its opposition to the Creator. Only Malchut can make TA, for to make the Tzimtzum, one should first feel its complete opposition to the Creator.

Another name for Malchut is soul, but the name “soul” may refer both to the Kli, and to the light in it. While reading a text, one should always remember whether it speaks about the creation or about what it is filled with. In the first case, it is a part of the creation itself, a desire. In the second case, it is the Creator’s part, the light.

When a soul descends to the world of Atzilut from the world of Infinity, it becomes the soul of phase Alef, but not the real soul. The distinction between it and the Creator is not yet felt. It is as a baby in its mother’s womb; it cannot be called independent yet, although it already exists. It is still in the interim phase.

The world of Atzilut is absolutely spiritual, because the Kli is not felt in it; it is completely suppressed by the light and is a single whole with the light. The souls of the rest of the created beings, for example, animals, descending from above through the world of Atzilut, are also considered one with the Creator. However, in our world, the created beings are completely empty of the light and infinitely remote from the Creator.

The worlds are levels of closeness to the Creator in man’s ascent and the measures of remoteness from Him in the descent of the souls. It does not matter about what kind of souls we speak. Although all nature presents a single whole, some types of created beings, differing in the degree of their freedom of choice, can be singled out as more or less free in the choice of the Goal.

Of all created beings, only man has a true freedom of will; the rest of nature ascends or descends with him, because everything in our Universe is related to man. It is impossible to speak about a certain number of souls that pass this way, for it is difficult to give a quantitative estimate.

Particles of other stronger and higher souls may appear in each of us. They begin to speak in us and push us forward. In fact, the soul is not something predetermined, permanent, something that accompanies our physiological body during its entire biological life. For example, the Ari, in his book “Shaar HaGilgulim” (“The Gates of Reincarnation”) describes the kind of souls and in what succession they took root in him.

A soul is not something indivisible. It constantly merges and separates, creates new parts according to the demands of the correction of the common soul. Even during man’s life, some of the souls’ parts take root or leave him; souls constantly “flow” one into another.

The world of Beria corresponds to the phase Bet-Bina, the 'desire to bestow', to please. The Kli in the world of Beria is called “Neshama”; for the first time it has its own desire, albeit the "desire to bestow"; hence, it is very “clear”, non-egoistic in its desires and considered to be absolutely spiritual.

The world of Yetzira corresponds to the phase Gimel-Tifferet, or ZA, in which both the "desire to bestow" (approximately 90%) and the "desire to receive" (approximately 10%) emerge. There is a little bit of the light of Hochma on the bright background of Ohr Hassadim. The Kli in this phase passes from the state of Neshama to Ruach. Although the desires of the Kli are already egoistic to some degree, all the same the "desire to bestow" prevails; therefore, the Kli in the world of Yetzira is still quite spiritual.

The completely egoistic fourth phase, Malchut, rules in the world of Assiya. Here the "desire to receive" is itself the Guf (body), which is absolutely remote from the Creator. The light that fills the Kli in the world of Assiya is called “Nefesh”; this name suggests that the Kli and the light are spiritually motionless similarly to the still nature of our world.

The Kli becomes coarser as it gradually descends through the levels of the worlds, and moves away from the light until it is completely empty, i.e., it does not feel the light at all. Therefore, it becomes completely free from the light and the Creator in its thoughts and actions.

Now, if the Kli itself prefers the path of spiritual development to “petty” egoistic pleasures, it will gradually be able to ascend through the levels of the worlds of Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, Adam Kadmon, and reach the world of Infinity, i.e., infinitely merge with the Creator, become equal with Him.

Each man has a so-called black point in his heart, an embryo of the future spiritual state. In different people, this point is in a different state of readiness for the spiritual perception. There are people who cannot grasp spiritual notions at all; they have no interest in them. However, there are people who suddenly wake up, and are puzzled by the fact that they suddenly become interested in such “abstract” matters.

As with all other animals, man lives under the influence of his parents, the environment, traits of his character. Having no freedom of will, he only processes the available information according to outer and inner factors Then he performs the actions that seem best to him.

Yet, everything changes when the Creator starts awaking man. A person wakes up under the influence of a small portion of the light that the Creator sends to him in advance. Upon receiving this portion, his inner point begins to demand further filling, forcing him to look for the light. Therefore, he starts to search for it in different occupations, ideas, philosophies, doctrines, study groups, until he comes to Kabbalah. Each soul on the Earth has to go along the same path!

Until, with the help of the screen, his black point, reaches the size of a small Partzuf, man is considered to have no soul, no Kli, and naturally, no light in him. The presence of even the smallest spiritual Partzuf, having the lights of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida (NaRaNHaY), indicates man’s birth and his leaving of the animal state (which we are used to consider human, by the way).

Man refers to man such a spiritual state where one has already passed the spiritual barrier (Machsom) separating this world from the spiritual one, the world of Assiya; i.e., one who has acquired the spiritual Kli called the soul.

The experience accumulated by the soul in each of its incarnations in this world remains with it, and passing from generation to generation, only changing its physiological bodies as one would change its shirt. All bodily physical sufferings also register in the soul, and at a certain moment, bring man to a desire to attain spirituality.

The dressing of a soul into a woman’s body signifies that it does not have to go through any personal spiritual correction in this incarnation. A woman does not advance spiritually by herself, except by helping to circulate the wisdom of Kabbalah and receiving spiritual elevation through her husband.

The Torah says that the hearts of those who rule the world are in the hands of the Creator. This refers to all politicians, heads of states, dictators - all those on whom humankind depends. All of them are nothing but marionettes in the hands of the Creator, through whom He controls everything.

There is only one law in the spiritual realm - the law of the equivalence of the spiritual properties. If the properties of two people are equal, similar, they are spiritually close. If people differ in their thoughts, viewpoints, they feel separated and distant from one another, even if they are physically close.

Spiritual proximity or distance depends on the similarity of the objects’ properties. If the objects completely coincide in their properties, desires, they merge. If two desires are contrary to one another, they are said to be remote one from the other. The more similar two desires are, the closer they are in the spiritual world.

If only one out of the numerous desires of the objects coincides, these two objects have contact only in one point. If there is not even one desire in us that is similar to the Creator’s, it means that we are absolutely remote from Him and have nothing with which to feel Him. If there appears just one desire in me that is similar to the Creator, then with it I will be able to feel the Creator.

Man’s task is gradually to make all his desires similar to those of the Creator. Then man will completely merge into one spiritual object with Him, and there will be no distinction between them. Man will achieve everything the Creator has: eternity, absolute knowledge, and perfection. This is the ultimate purpose of the correction of all man’s natural desires.

Malchut, upon expelling all the light in TA, decided to receive it with the help of a screen. The Direct Light comes to it, presses on the screen, wanting to get inside. Malchut refuses to receive the light, remembering the burning shame it felt when it was filled with it. Refusal to receive the light means reflecting it with the help of the screen. Such light is called “Ohr Hozer” (the Reflected Light). The reflection itself is called “Haka’a” (a stroke) of the light into the screen.

The reflection of pleasure (the light) takes place inside of man with the help of the intention to receive this pleasure only for the Creator’s sake. Man calculates how much he can receive to please the Creator. He, as it were, of dresses the pleasure he wants to receive onto the intention to bestow upon the Creator; to receive, to enjoy for the sake of the Creator.

The dressing of the Direct Light onto the Reflected Light allows Malchut, after TA, to expand and receive a portion of the light. It means that, at this point it becomes similar to the Creator by merging with Him. The Purpose of the creation is to fill Malchut completely with the Creator’s light. Then all reception of the light will be equal to bestowal and will mean total merging of the entire creation with the Creator.

By dressing the coming pleasure into its intention (the Reflected Light), Malchut announces that it wants to feel this pleasure only because, by doing so, it delights the Creator. In this case, reception is equal to bestowal, since the meaning of an action is determined by the Kli’s intention, not by the mechanical direction of the action, inward or outward. Pleasure felt in this case will be twofold pleasure: from receiving it and from bestowing it upon the Creator.

Rabbi Ashlag wonderfully illustrates the situation with the example of a relationship between a guest and his host, the guest, receiving pleasure from the host, turns it as it were into giving. He pays a visit to the host, who knows exactly what he likes most. The guest sits down in front of the host, and the host puts his five most favorite dishes before him, the exact amount to match his appetite.

If the guest had not seen the giver, the host, he would have shamelessly pounced on the food and gulped down all the delicacies without leaving a bit, since they are exactly what he desires. However, the host, sitting in front of him, embarrasses him, so the guest refuses to eat. The host insists, explaining how much he wishes to please him, to give him delight.

Finally, by trying to talk the guest into eating, the host says that the guest’s refusal makes Him suffer. Upon realizing that by eating the dinner he will give pleasure to the host, turning himself into a giver instead of a receiver, i.e., becoming equal with the host in his intentions and properties, only then does the guest agree to eat.

If a situation arises where the host wants to please the guest by putting the treat before him, and the guest, in return, eats it with the intention to return the pleasure to the host, enjoying it at that, this condition is called interaction by stroke (Zivug de Haka’a). However, it can take place only after the guest’s prior complete refusal to receive pleasure.

The guest only accepts the treat when he is sure that he pleases the host by receiving it, as if doing him a favor. He receives it only to the extent of his ability to think not about his own pleasure, but about pleasing the host, in other words, the Creator.

So, why do we need all these pleasures in our world if they are all based on suffering? When a desire is fulfilled, the pleasure “is extinguished” and disappears.

Pleasure is felt only when there is a burning "desire to receive" it. With the help of the correction of our desires, by adding to them the intention “for the sake of the Creator”, we can enjoy infinitely, without feeling “hunger” before receiving pleasure. We can receive enormous delight by granting pleasure to the Creator, with the help of constantly increasing in ourselves the feeling of His greatness.

Since the Creator is eternal and infinite, we, by feeling His greatness, create in ourselves the eternal and infinite Kli - hunger for Him. Thus, we can enjoy eternally and infinitely. In the spiritual world any reception of pleasure promotes an even larger 'desire to receive' it, and it goes on forever.

Filling becomes equal to giving: man gives, sees how much the Creator enjoys it, and acquires an even bigger "desire to give". However, the pleasure from giving should also be altruistic, i.e., for the sake of bestowal, and not for the sake of receiving pleasure from it. Otherwise, it will be giving for self-enjoyment, as when we give while pursuing our own ends.

Kabbalah teaches man to receive pleasure from the light with the intention for the sake of the Creator. If man can screen all the pleasures of this world, he will be able instantly to feel the spiritual world. Then man falls under the influence of the spiritually impure forces. They gradually provide him with additional spiritual egoism. He builds a new screen on it with the help of the pure forces, and then he can receive a new portion of the light, which corresponds to the quantity of egoism corrected by him. Thus, man always has the freedom of will.

The notion of “screen” contains the difference between the spiritual and material. Receiving pleasure without the screen is a common egoistic pleasure of our world. The point is to prefer spiritual pleasures to the material ones and by developing the screen, to receive eternal pleasure, which is intended for us according to the Thought of Creation.

However, the screen can appear only under the influence of the light of the Creator, on the egoistic desire of the Kli. The moment the Creator reveals Himself to man, his question of who needs his efforts, instantly disappears. So all our work boils down to just one thing: to feel of the Creator.

To overcome any level of concealment, man must acquire the properties of this level. By doing so, he “neutralizes” the restriction, takes upon himself the influence of the concealing level, so that the concealment turns into revelation and attainment.

For example, let us take a person whose every property belongs to our world. His properties are so unimproved that he is under the influence of the concealment of all five worlds. If, because of the correction, his properties become similar to those of the world of Assiya, then this world stops concealing the Creator’s light from him, which means that man has spiritually ascended to the level of Assiya.

A person, whose properties and sensations are already in Assiya, feels the concealment of the Creator on the level of the world of Yetzira. By correcting his properties according to those of Yetzira, he neutralizes the concealment of the Creator’s light on this level and begins to feel Him on the level of Yetzira. It turns out that the worlds are the screens that conceal the Creator from us. However, when man puts the screen on his egoism similar to those levels, he by doing so, reveals the part of the Creator’s light that this screen, this world was concealing.

The one who is in a certain spiritual world will feel the concealment on that level and the one above it, but not on the one below. So, if man is on the level of Sefira Hesed of the Partzuf ZA of the world of Beria, then from this level downwards, all the worlds, all the Partzufim and all the Sefirot are already in him in their corrected state. These passed levels are the levels of revelation for him; he absorbed their egoism, corrected it with the help of the screen, and thus revealed the Creator on this level.

However, the Creator is still concealed from him on all the higher levels. Overall, there are 125 levels from our world to the Creator: five worlds with five Partzufim in each world, with five Sefirot in each Partzuf.

The main thing is to take the first step into the spiritual world; afterwards it becomes much simpler. All the levels are similar to one another, and the difference between them is only in the material, not in the design. The world of Adam Kadmon consists of five Partzufim: Keter (Galgalta), Hochma (AB), Bina (SAG or Abave Ima, or AVI in short), ZA (sometimes it is called Kadosh Baruch Hu, Israel), Malchut (Shechina, Leah, Rachel).

On each spiritual level, man as it were, changes his name, and according to where he is now, is called either Pharaoh, Moshe (Moses), or Israel. All of these are the Creator’s names, man’s levels of attaining Him. As a rule, the Kabbalistic books are written by Kabbalists who have passed all these levels of the correction.

The levels that follow are ,not the levels of the correction, but an individual’s attainment and personal contact with the Creator. They are not studied. They belong to the so-called “secrets of the Torah” (Sodot Torah) that are given as a gift to the one who has completely corrected himself. Unlike these, the levels of correction belong to the tastes of the Torah (Ta’amey Torah); they must be studied to be attained.

The conveying of Kabbalistic information is the conveying light. The transferring of properties from the higher spiritual level to the lower one is called “descent” or “influence”, and from the lower to the higher one - “request”, “prayer”, MAN. The connection exists only between two adjacent Partzufim, one above the other. No communication is possible between two discontinuous levels. Each higher level is called the Creator with regard to the lower one; its relationship to the lower level can be likened to a ratio of the Universe to a grain of sand.

11) Now we can understand the difference between the spiritual and the material. If the "desire to receive" has reached its final development, i.e., achieved the stage of Behina Dalet, it is called “material” and belongs to our world (Olam Hazeh). If the "desire to receive" has not yet reached its final development, then such a desire is considered spiritual and corresponds to the four worlds of ABYA, which are above the level of our world.

You should understand that all ascents and descents in the Upper worlds are not by any means movements in some imaginary space, but are merely changes in the magnitude of the "desire to receive". The object most remote from Behina Dalet is in the highest point. The closer an object is to Behina Dalet, the lower is its level.

Here the name “Olam Hazeh” means the world of Assiya.

The "desire to receive" in Behina Dalet is absolutely complete; this is the desire just to receive without giving anything in return. All ascents and descents in the spiritual world in no way refer to the notion of place they speak solely about the increase or decrease of the similarity of man’s inner properties to those of the Creator.

If one likens it to our world, then the ascent can be imagined as a burst of joy and high spirits, while the descent would be a dismal mood. We speak about the similarity of properties though, when the mood only accompanies the realization of the spiritual ascent. In Kabbalah, all actions refer to man’s inner feelings.

It depends on man himself what property he should use. What really matters is the measure of egoism that man works with right now and “for whose sake", i.e., whether”. for the sake of the Creator, which will be an ascent, or for his own, which corresponds to a fall.It is It is important how he uses his egoism and in what direction.

12) One should understand that the essence of each vessel and the entire Creation is only the "desire to receive". Nothing outside the framework of this desire has anything to do with the creation, but refers to the Creator. Then why do we regard the "desire to receive" as something coarse, disgusting and requiring correction? We are instructed to “purify” it with the help of the Torah and the Commandments; otherwise, we will not be able to achieve the ultimate purpose of the Creation.

The desire to receive pleasure was formed by the Creator and therefore not subject to change. Man can only choose what size of a desire he can use now and “for whose sake”. If in each of his desires he uses only for his own benefit, then it is egoism or “spiritual impurity”. If man wants to use his desires to receive pleasure while simultaneously delighting the Creator, then he has to choose only those of his desires with which he can really do so.

Therefore, wishing to act altruistically, man should first check what kind of desires he can use to receive pleasure so that it returns to the Creator. Only then can he start filling them with pleasure. All of man’s desires are the desires of Malchut. They are divided into 125 parts called levels. Gradually, using larger and larger egoistic desires for the sake of the Creator, man ascends spiritually. The use of all of Malchut’s 125 private desires is called 'the complete correction of egoism'.

Sometimes it is more convenient to divide Malchut’s desires into but into 620 instear of 125 parts. Such parts of the desire or rather their use for the sake of the Creator are called “commandments”, actions for His sake. By fulfilling these 620 actions, commandments, man ascends to the same 125-th level.

13) As all material objects are separated from one another by distance in space, spiritual objects are also separated from one another due to the difference in their inner properties. Something like this can be seen in our world. For example, two men have similar views, sympathize with one another, and no distance can influence the empathy between them. On the contrary, when their views are very different, they hate one another and no proximity can unite them.

Therefore, the similarity of views draws people together, while the differences separate them. If one person’s nature is absolutely opposite to the nature of the other, these people are as remote from one another as East is from West. The same occurs in the spiritual worlds: moving away, rapprochement, merging – all these processes happen only according to the difference or resemblance between the inner properties of the spiritual objects. The difference in properties separates them, while their similarity brings them closer.

The "desire to receive" is the principal element of the creation; this is the vessel necessary for the realization of the Purpose included in the Thought of the Creation. This is the desire that separates the creation from the Creator. The Creator is the absolute "desire to bestow"; He does not have a trace of the "desire to receive". It is impossible to imagine a greater contrast than this: between the Creator and the creation, between the "desire to bestow" and the "desire to receive".

The spiritual place means being with one’s properties on one of the 125 levels of the spiritual ladder. From this, it follows that the notion of “place” means quality, property, measure of correction. Even in our world, closeness in physical space does not bring two different characters close to one another; it is only the similarity of their properties, thoughts and desires that can bridge the gap between them. On the contrary, the difference in properties, thoughts, and desires moves the objects away from one another.

14) In order to save the creation from such remoteness from the Creator, the Tzimtzum Alef (TA, the First Restriction) took place and separated Behina Dalet from the spiritual objects. This happened in such a way that the "desire to receive" turned into a space void of the light. After the Tzimtzum Alef, all the spiritual objects have a screen on their vessel-Malchut in order to avoid receiving the light inside Behina Dalet.

The moment the Upper Light tries to enter the creation, the screen pushes it away. This process is called a Stroke (Haka’a) between the Upper Light and the screen. Because of this blow, the Reflected Light rises and dresses the 10 Sefirot of the Upper Light. The Reflected Light, dressed on the Upper Light, is becoming a vessel instead of Behina Dalet.

After this, Malchut expands in accordance with the height of the Reflected Light, then spreads downwards, thus letting the light get inside. one says that the Upper Light dresses onto the Reflected Light. This is called the “Rosh” (head) and the “Guf” (body) of each level. The Stroke Contact of the Upper Light with the screen causes the lifting of the Reflected Light. The Reflected Light dresses onto the 10 Sefirot of the Upper Light, thus forming the 10 Sefirot de Rosh.

The 10 Sefirot de Rosh are not the real vessels yet; they only pass for their roots. It is only after Malchut, with the Reflected Light, spreads downwards, that the Reflected Light turns into the vessels for the reception of the Upper Light. Then the lights dress into thevessels, called “the body” of this particular level. The real, complete vessels are called “the body”.

The creation is formed as absolutely egoistic. Moreover, according to this property is remote as can be from the Creator. To help the creation out of such a state, the Creator fashioned in Malchut a desire to make TA, i.e., to separate Behina Dalet from all pure Behinot, leaving it absolutely empty in the space filled with nothing.

On its way to the creation, the Upper Light (Ohr Elion) collides with the screen, which is in front of Behina Dalet’s desire to receive pleasure, and completely pushes it back. This phenomenon is defined as an interaction by the stroke between the Upper Light and the screen and is called “Haka’a” (stroke). Divided by the screen into 10 parts, Sefirot, the Reflected Light, dresses onto the Upper Light, thus dividing it into 10 Sefirot. The combination of 10 Sefirot of the Reflected Light and the 10 Sefirot of the Upper Light forms the Rosh (head) of the Partzuf (spiritual object).

Thus the Reflected Light, i.e., the desire to return to the Creator the pleasure that one receives from Him, becomes the condition of receiving this pleasure, i.e., the vessel of reception (the Kli Kabbalah) instead of Behina Dalet. The Behina Dalet is unable to receive pleasure without the screen because of its egoistic desires. We see that the screen can change its intention from egoistic into altruistic, turn it into the "desire to receive" for the Creator’s sake. Only after the creation builds such an intention can the higher light spread into the vessel and dress it into the desires -Kelim, formed by the Reflected Light.

15) After the First restriction, new vessels of reception appear in place of Behina Dalet. They are formed because of a Stroke Contact between the light and the screen. However, we still need to understand how this light turned into a vessel of reception after being the light reflected from such a vessel. It turns out that the light becomes a vessel, i.e., starts playing an opposite role.

To explain the above, let us take an example from this world. Man naturally respects a "desire to give", at the same time, he resents receiving without giving something in return. Let us suppose that a person comes to his friend’s house, and is offered a meal. Naturally, he would refuse to eat no matter how hungry he may be, because he hates to be a receiver who gives nothing in return.

His host, however, starts persuading him, making it clear that by the guest's eating his food, he would please his host immensely. When the guest feels that what the host says is true, he will consent to accept the meal, since he would not feel as a receiver anymore. Moreover, now the guest feels he is giving to the host, delighting him with his readiness to eat. It turns out that in spite of his hunger - a genuine vessel of receiving food - the guest could not even touch the delicacies until his shame was placated by the host’s persuasions.

Now we see how a new vessel for receiving the food comes to life. The gradually growing power of the host’s persuasion and the guest’s resistance finally turn reception into bestowal. The act of receiving remained unchanged; only the intention was transformed. Just the force of resistance and not hunger (the true vessel of reception) turned into the reason for accepting the treat.

Wherever Behina Dalet is mentioned, Malchut is meant, i.e., reception for the sake of reception. There is an action and the reason of this action. What is the reason for reception before the Restriction? It is the desire to receive pleasure. It means that receiving is an action for the sake of receiving. After the Restriction, the Partzufim do not use Behina Dalet; the only light received by it is that coming from the screen and the Reflected Light.

The reason for receiving that existed before the Restriction remained afterwards too, because without a desire and striving for something, it is impossible to receive. Nevertheless, this reason is not enough for reception; it should be accompanied by an additional reason i.e., the intention for the sake of bestowal.

Malchut is ready to renounce animal pleasures; it performs the Restriction on them. It receives only because it is the Creator’s desire. According to that, reception for the sake of bestowal looks different. The act of receiving does not arise from the first reason, but from the second - receiving for the sake of giving; however, the first reason must accompany the second, for if there is no desire to receive pleasure, how will it be able to enjoy?

For example, there is a commandment to enjoy the Sabbath meal; but if there is no hunger, how can one receive pleasure from eating? Hence the first reason - the "desire to receive" should remain (albeit because of the shame it is unable to receive), but only in the presence of the additional reason - the "desire to give".

16) With the help of the example of the host and the guest we can now understand what a Zivug de Haka’a (Stroke Contact) is, which results in the birth of new vessels of receiving the Upper Light instead of the Behina Dalet. The interaction takes place because the light hits the screen wishing to enter the Behina Dalet. It resembles a host who tries to convince his guest to eat. The force of the guest’s resistance is similar to the screen. As the refusal to eat turns into a new vessel, so does the Reflected Light become a vessel of receiving instead of the Behina Dalet, which played that role before the First Restriction.

However, we should keep in mind that it happens only in the spiritual objects of the worlds of ABYA, whereas in the objects related to the impure forces and to our world, the Behina Dalet continues to be a receiving vessel. Hence neither in the impure forces nor in our world is there any light, because of the difference between the properties of the Behina Dalet and those of the Creator. Therefore, the Klipot (impure forces, a "desire to receive" thelight without the screen) and sinners are called dead, since the desire to receive the light without the screen separates them from the Life of Lives, the Creator’s light.

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